Weekly allowance. Did you get any? Do you give any?

OMG, how we used to look forward to that weekly goldmine!😄

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Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Unlike what the above photo shows, when I was a kid we got coins, not paper money. 😄 But that’s okay! It was more than enough, in the 1950s, to buy whatever goodies we set our eyes (and stomachs) on!

I’ve written before about how cheap candy was back then,  here – 79 cents is the new 5 cents! – and here – 60 years: Then and Now. It’s fun to reminisce about the low, low prices, and how much bang we could get for our buck (or 35 cents)!

A reminder: in the Woolworth’s “five-and-dime” store on Queen Mary Road in 1957, I’d buy a piece of my favourite chocolate-fudge layer cake for 15¢ and a small coke (6¢), and still have half my allowance left over. Maybe it was even enough to buy my first lipstick by Cutex in a coral shade.

pink lipstick
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

But my point is this: the money I had, all to myself, made me feel more independent, grown up, empowered. Even though the amount was small, it was still something I could count on and it also helped me learn to budget. Spending the 50¢ all in one day meant that my treats for the rest of the week would be sparse or non-existent. It’s one thing for a child to be told this, but it’s a better thing if they learn it from experience.

How about you? Did you get an allowance? Did you feel it was enough? And how about now, if you have kids, do you give them an allowance? Is it an outright “gift,” or is it conditional upon chores?

Mine was a “gift,” I guess. Though I never thought of it that way… I guess I just felt entitled to it. Yikes, that’s not so good, is it?

What do you think? Please feel free to comment below!

18 thoughts on “Weekly allowance. Did you get any? Do you give any?

  1. Now I have proof to show my dad that my allowance was ridiculously low but it’s too late because he’s gone. In 1967 I got $.30 a week. Three dimes. One to save and one to tithe and one to spend. Ten cents in 1967. I even used to point out that 1/3 of my allowance is not tithing. That means that you’re supposed to give 10% to the church. 10% would’ve been three cents not 10. Just another example of how unfair my childhood was lol.

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      1. I was 12. Most of my friends in the neighborhood didn’t get allowances. When we went to the store their moms would give them some money. Mine would not.

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  2. I also got 50 cents a week until I started babysitting at 13. Then I put money in the bank. I gave my daughter an allowance until she started working part-time at the age of 14.

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  3. I got an allowance sporadically. Well, maybe my memory is sporadic. My mom was not a flighty person and perhaps gave me money regularly. The thing is, I followed in her footsteps, being an extreme tightwad. It was so hard for me to part with money that she might have figured I didn’t need that angst. I still talk myself out of most non-essential purchases, many of which are not expensive and would bring me pleasure. Maybe I learned to find happiness in denial!!! I need a make-over, don’t I?

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    1. I don’t know Anne, it sounds like you acquired the “depression mentality” of thriftiness even though you didn’t live through it first-hand! It can be a good thing, I suppose. This way you always have money for the proverbial “rainy day”! Did you give all your kids an allowance?

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  4. Well, I might come across as a bit privileged, but here goes…
    We had household chores every day at dinner and after, plus usually a weekly chore or two. When we were teens, in the 1970s, our allowance was $25 per month. Aside from school clothes once a year, we used our allowance for most of the things we needed or wanted. We did have to learn to budget and definitely learned the value of a dollar. I babysat for money and at 17 got a restaurant job at about $2.50 an hour – hard work it was, too. I learned to save and even with all my expenses (including for a horse my senior year), I saved $1000. My parents were very middle class, BTW. I appreciate the lessons I learned about money, for sure.

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    1. Well, the teen $25 sounds like quite a lot, but I suppose your parents’ thinking was “THIS’ll keep ’em out of our hair for at least a week!” 😀 And it was worth it to teach you longlasting money lessons! I wouldn’t say “privileged” – maybe “lucky,” though.

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  5. I started getting an allowance probably in about 1984 at age 5 or 6. I think it was only a dime or a quarter per week. My sister, who is two years older, probably got a bit more. We usually got a raise every year or so. I think my the time I was in high-school it was more like $10-20 per week. I saved quite a bit of it. I had daily chores like feeding the dog, setting the table and such, and weekly chores like cleaning the bathroom.

    I also had a paper route when I was 11-13. Around 14 I started teaching drum lessons for $10 an hour – at my peak I had 5 students I think.

    I also give my kids an allowance now, and make them do chores. I agree that having your own money makes you feel empowered. I mostly let my kids make their own choices about how to spend it, but I also try to help them make good choices. Getting them to save money in an actual bank account is tricky nowadays, since you can’t get any interest. Back in the 1980s when I was growing up you could get 5% interest on a simple savings account.

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    1. I love that you got “raises.” You must’ve so looked forward to them! The chores, good for you – and your parents! (Cleaning the *bathroom*?! Wow! I struggled to get my son to empty the dishwasher!)

      Drum lessons! So $50 an hour? Great! Re savings, still good to set some aside, even though no interest. (Talk about back in the 80s – My parents had several investment certificates, $10,000 each, and used the INTEREST for month-long trips to Florida every winter! (True, they’d stay at my aunts, but still, imagine that now? No!)

      “Helping” your kids make choices is cool.

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